Photo CreditCharlotte 49ers Athletics
49ers look to pull the upset in Bloomington
Last Saturday the Charlotte Women’s basketball team punched their ticket to the big dance. This week, they get to try and pull off a 14-seed over 3-seed upset as they will face the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington.
How they got here
The 49ers played three thrilling games in Frisco, Texas last week en route to becoming conference champions. They knocked off Rice, North Texas and LA Tech to become champions.
Octavia Jett-Wilson was named tournament MVP. Jett-Wilson as well as teammate Mikayla Boykin were named to the all-tournament team.
This is coach Cara Consuegra’s first conference championship and first NCAA tournament birth. This is the 49ers third time to the NCAA tournament with their last appearance coming in 2009, before Consuegra took the helm.
It was announced this past Sunday during the women’s basketball selection show that Charlotte would be heading to Bloomington to face host team Indiana.
Scouting the Hoosiers
Indiana comes in averaging 71.8 points per game, which will prove to be a tough test for the 49er defense. Coach Consuegra preaches defense, and has all year, so this game will be an excellent test of the 49er defense. The 49ers are only giving up 58.1 ppg on the defensive side of the ball.
The Hoosiers aren’t a slouch on the defensive side of the ball either. They give up just 61.9 ppg in a rugged Big Ten conference. They look to pressure ball handlers, so whomever it may be for the 49ers bringing the ball up, will need to be extremely tough with the ball.
Indiana is an excellent free throw shooting team at over 75% as a team. If the game comes down to a free throw contest in the end, the Hoosiers have the advantage.
Players to watch for Charlotte
The player of the year in Conference USA as well as the Conference tournament MVP will have to bring her A-game to Bloomington if the 49ers hope to pull off the upset. She put her team on her back in the conference title game against LA Tech scoring 31 points on the way to victory.
The Duke transfer has really cemented herself as the second go-to scoring option for the 49ers. Her three-point shot is something out of a textbook as it has excellent rotation and looks like it is good every time it leaves her hands. She scored 21 in the 49ers opening conference tournament game against Rice. A big game from Boykin may be just what the 49ers need to advance to the round of 32.
The floor general; enough said really. JMac, as she is called by her teammates, hit some of the biggest shots of the tournament a week ago in Frisco. Her performance against North Texas really stands out, as down the stretch she was able to hit clutch baskets and foul out the Mean Green’s best player, Aly Gamez. Her mid-range pull up game is something that looks almost Michael Jordan like. It’s her “kill shot” as coach Consuegra called it.
Looking to Gameday
The 49ers get things tipped off at 1:30 pm on Saturday, March 19. The game will be aired on ESPN 2. The winner will face the winner of the 6-seed Kentucky vs. 11-seed Princeton winner.